Caitlyn Smith Franklin, a native of the Chicago area, is an active Bay Area performer and teacher. She has been the principal horn of the Stockton Symphony since 2013. She is also principal horn of the Santa Cruz Symphony, utility horn with the Santa Rosa Symphony, second horn with the Monterey Symphony, third horn with Symphony San Jose, and fourth horn with Opera San Jose. Additionally, Caitlyn is a frequent substitute with the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Opera and Ballet and has performed on several domestic and international tours with the San Francisco Symphony. She has performed under some of the world’s best-known conductors, including Michael Tilson Thomas, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Herbert Blomstedt, and Simon Rattle.
Aside from her orchestral work, Caitlyn works regularly as a studio musician, recording with up-and-coming singer-songwriters and in recording sessions at George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch for Blizzard video games. Caitlyn has performed with megastars such as Andrea Bocelli, Adele, and Phish and was even the featured hornist on the 2014 Oscar-nominated animated short film The Dam Keeper. In addition to her busy performing schedule, Caitlyn joined the music faculty at San Jose State University in 2017, where she has been dedicated to helping her SJSU music students achieve their musical goals.
Caitlyn Smith Franklin graduated summa cum laude in 2008 from the University of Miami where she earned bachelor’s degrees in music (horn performance) and biology. She subsequently earned her Master of Music degree in horn performance in 2011 and her Professional Studies Diploma in 2012, both from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music while studying under Robert Ward, principal horn of the San Francisco Symphony. During the summers, Caitlyn has also performed with the National Repertory Orchestra, the Music Academy of the West, the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Brevard Music Center, and the Monteux School and Music Festival.